Re: [namespaceDocument-8] Proposal: "Namespace Document" = RDF

At 12:13 PM +0200 2/18/02, Patrick Stickler wrote:

>I would like to propose an alternative interim treatment which is
>similar in nature to the RDDL approach, and in fact would adopt
>the RDDL vocabulary in its realization, but which would be more
>forward-looking towards a time whtn such knowledge would not be
>tied to HTTP for retrieval and not expressed only in XML, but would
>be accessible by more generalized, transparent means and have an RDF

What would this do that RDDL can't or doesn't do? Can you give us an 
example of such a document so we can see better what you intend? 
Would your document format be easily read by humans when loaded into 
a browser?

>Let us redefine a "namespace document" to be an RDF instance
>(using the RDDL vocabulary, and perhaps other vocabularies as well)
>which provides knowledge *relevant to* the use of the namespace
>but not merly about the namespace itself, alone.

As does RDDL. There's nothing unique or new here.

>This RDF instance would provide knowledge about any and all
>resources which the owner of the namespace felt may be relevant
>and useful to anyone using any architectural component related
>to that namespace.

As does RDDL. Again, there's nothing unique or new here.

>Thus, it would describe vocabularies, document models, schemas,
>software components, style sheets, discriptive prose, etc. each
>of which would have URIs distinct from that of the namespace.

Again, RDDL does all this.

>The URIs denoting these resources need not be http: URLs, nor
>even URLS or URNs, but can be any class of URI whatsoever.

They don't have to be http URLs in RDDL either. You can put a RDDL 
document at any URL whatsoever. If there were a resolution mechanism 
for URNs, you could put a RDDL document at the end of one of these 

>And the descriptions about each resource would be specfic to that
>resource, not the namespace, which has no real properties apart
>from punctuation and providing a point of intersection for the
>trully interesting resources described in such an RDF namespace

Maybe, there's something here at this point that RDDL can't do. Can 
you elaborate? It's not self-evident.

>Later, in the future, when such RDF knowledge can be retrieved by
>means other than from namespace documents and HTTP, such as via global,
>distributed knowledge registries, and thus not bound to the use of http:
>URLs, the need for such "namespace documents" would dissappear, and
>also all benefit of using http: URLs as namespace URIs -- yet
>applications would already be used to working with such generalized
>knowledge and how it is obtained would remain a triviality.

Again, none of this is untrue of RDDL.

>Furthermore, such an approach permits applications to maintain
>local knowledge bases about known resources, possibly also caching
>web retrieved knowledge for offline use, or augment that with any
>number of dedicated registries, providing a more flexible,
>scalable knowledge based solution -- hampered only temporarily by
>transparent, global web-accessibility of such knowledge, yet
>architecturally sound both now and in the the future when such
>accessibility issues are resolved.

OK, this I grant RDDL can't do. I just tend to doubt RDF can do it 
either. This might be worth considering when and if the accessibility 
issues are solved. Until then it's not a good reason to introduce 
excessive complexity that doesn't buy any extra power.

>Such an interim solution would meet the immediate needs of specialised,
>constrained HTTP based solutions while facilitiating and encouraging
>work towards a more generalized, long term solution.

RDDL is in no way limited to HTTP. To convince me that it needs 
replacing with RDF, you'll need to show how the document format is 
inadequate. The protocol issues are completely orthogonal to the 
decision between RDDL and RDF.

| Elliotte Rusty Harold | | Writer/Programmer |
|          The XML Bible, 2nd Edition (Hungry Minds, 2001)           |
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Received on Thursday, 28 February 2002 14:46:09 UTC